Aussies Abroad: NBA and Euro stars shine

Aussies Abroad: NBA and Euro stars shine

It was another productive week for the Australian Boomers NBA contingent, with big numbers posted across the board as the regular season enters the final stretch.

Coming off a first career double-double against Oklahoma City last week, Cleveland Cavaliers guard Matthew Dellavedova carried the momentum into Sunday’s 118-110 loss to Houston. The 23-year-old tied his career-high in points, posting 14 points and 10 assists to claim consecutive double-doubles.

After narrow defeats to high-flying Miami, Oklahoma and Houston, the Cavs recorded a much-deserved victory, defeating the in-form New York Knicks 106-100 on Monday. “Delly” had 9 points and 3 rebounds in 26 minutes, snapping the Knicks seven-game win streak.

With Cleveland’s Australian-born star Kyrie Irving out with injury, Dellavedova has stepped up to the plate, averaging 9.8 points and 6.8 assists in 30 minutes per game.

It was an all-Australian affair on Sunday when the San Antonio Spurs defeated the Golden State Warriors 99-90 to tighten their grip on top-seeding in the Western Conference.

Despite the defeat, Andrew Bogut was a monster on the glass, racking in a game-high 17 rebounds to go with 4 blocks. For the Spurs, Patty Mills had a tough shooting night, but was able to add 5 assists and 4 steals to his 4 points, while Aron Baynes gave strong minutes off the bench.

It was a tough week for Australians in the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Tournaments, with the biggest month in college basketball claiming a host of victims.

Australian Boomers forward Cameron Bairstow was brilliant for the New Mexico Lobos, posting 24 points and 8 rebounds, but could not stop his team and fellow Aussie Hugh Greenwood’s from suffering a 58-53 upset loss to #10 seed Stanford on Saturday.

It was a disappointing end to what has been a sensational senior year for the 23-year-old Queenslander, averaging more than 20 points and 8 rebounds per game – production that had Bairstow rated among the best players in college basketball for the season.

Aussie trio Bree Farley (8 points and 9 rebounds), Alex Sheedy (8 points and 7 rebounds) and Jacinta Vandenberg were first round victims of March Madness as their Fresno State team went down 74-55 to #4 seed Nebraska on Sunday.

Nicole Seekamp top-scored for North Dakota with 22 points and 5 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough to see the her team upset #2 seed Stanford, going down 81-62 in the first round of the women’s tournament on Sunday.

Across to Europe it was a productive weekend for Australians, with Jayco Opals star Cayla Francis posting 25 points (7-of-11 FG) and 8 rebounds in just 23 minutes as her French team Nantes recorded a 79-64 win over Nice on Sunday.

It was an equally profitable weekend in Turkey for Natalie Hurst, with the former Canberra Capitals guard posting 17 points (6-of-9 FG) and 5 rebounds as her Canik BLD team claimed a70-63 win over Mersin on Sunday.

Also in Turkey Australian Boomers sharp-shooter Ryan Broekhoff had his first career double-double for Besiktas in their 87-68 win over Olindirne on Sunday. The Melbournian finished with 12 points and 13 rebounds in 21 minutes as a starter.